Vijayan to hang up his boots

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> For Indian striker I M Vijayan, Friday's football match with Uzbekistan will be the last ever international game he will play for India.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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As the Indian men's football team prepares to take on Uzbekistan in the finals of the Afro-Asian Games, there is one Indian player who's cherishing every moment. For Indian striker I M Vijayan who has been the spearhead of the Indian team for nearly a decade, Friday's match with Uzbekistan will be the last ever international game he will play for India. With four goals already to his name in the tournament, Vijayan has proved that even with time and age catching up with him he has lost none of his predatory instincts that had once made him the most feared striker on the national scene. "I will feel bad after all I have played for India for so long. If we win the final, I will be very happy. Having played for the last 20-22 years, there have been times that I have played well and there have also been times when I have not performed. So victory will give me great satisfaction," says Vijayan. Discovered at a very young age at a coaching camp in his home state of Kerala, Vijayan was just what the doctor had ordered for Indian football. Vijayan's talent saw the best of domestic football clubs like Kerala Police, Mohun Bagan, JCT and FC Cochin vying for him. Even though it will be the end of his international career after the final, Vijayan still has the hunger to continue on the domestic circuit for a few more seasons along with spending time at the football academy he has opened in Trichur.

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